Premier John Horgan and the B.C. Executive Council
New British Columbia Premier John Horgan with the Executive Council of British Columbia (Photo courtesy of John Horgan)

Today, a new pro­gres­sive gov­ern­ment was sworn in to over­see Wash­ing­ton and Ida­ho’s north­ern neigh­bor of British Colum­bia, Canada’s third largest province. Led by John Hor­gan, it con­sists of eleven men and eleven women from the New Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (NDP), the more pro­gres­sive of B.C.‘s two major polit­i­cal parties.

The NDP is return­ing to pow­er after hav­ing spent a decade and a half as Her Majesty’s oppo­si­tion. In the recent May 9th elec­tion, the NDP gained enough seats to deny the not-lib­er­al BC Lib­er­als a major­i­ty, but not quite enough to form their own major­i­ty. Con­se­quent­ly, the NDP nego­ti­at­ed a con­fi­dence and sup­ply agree­ment with the Green Par­ty, who won three seats in the same election.

The com­bined NDP-Green alliance con­trols a bare major­i­ty of forty-four seats in British Columbi­a’s Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly, with the Lib­er­als hold­ing the remain­ing forty-three of eighty-sev­en seats. (Yes, it’s that tight.) The alliance held togeth­er when pre­vi­ous Pre­mier Christy Clark decid­ed to test the con­fi­dence of the house, prompt­ing Clark to sub­mit her res­ig­na­tion to Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Judith Gui­chon, the vicere­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Her Majesty Queen Eliz­a­beth II.

Gui­chon accept­ed Clark’s res­ig­na­tion and asked NDP Leader John Hor­gan to form a minor­i­ty gov­ern­ment in the Queen’s name after Hor­gan assured her he had the con­fi­dence of the house to gov­ern. And thus the tran­si­tion of pow­er began.

That tran­si­tion end­ed today in a cer­e­mo­ny at Gov­ern­ment House, where Hor­gan and his cab­i­net were sworn in by Gui­chon. The new cab­i­net is gen­der bal­anced (at least between the tra­di­tion­al male and female gen­ders) and includes the first per­son to serve as min­is­ter from one of Canada’s First Nations.

Premier John Horgan and the B.C. Executive Council
New British Colum­bia Pre­mier John Hor­gan with the Exec­u­tive Coun­cil of British Colum­bia (Pho­to cour­tesy of John Horgan)

Here is the ros­ter:

  • John Hor­gan, Premier
  • Car­ole James, Min­is­ter of Finance and Deputy Premier
  • Adri­an Dix, Min­is­ter of Health
  • Rob Flem­ing, Min­is­ter of Education
  • David Eby, Attor­ney General
  • Mike Farn­worth, Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Safe­ty and Solic­i­tor General
  • Har­ry Bains, Min­is­ter of Labour
  • George Hey­man, Min­is­ter of Envi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Strategy
  • Claire Treve­na, Min­is­ter of Trans­porta­tion and Infrastructure
  • Lana Popham, Min­is­ter of Agriculture
  • Katrine Con­roy, Min­is­ter of Chil­dren & Fam­i­ly Development
  • Judy Dar­cy, Min­is­ter of Men­tal Health and Addictions
  • Melanie Mark, Min­is­ter of Advanced Edu­ca­tion and Skills Training
  • Seli­na Robin­son, Min­is­ter of Munic­i­pal Affairs and Housing
  • Michelle Mungall, Min­is­ter of Ener­gy, Mines & Petro­le­um Resources
  • Doug Don­ald­son, Min­is­ter of Forests, Lands, Nat­ur­al Resource Oper­a­tions and Rur­al Development
  • Kat­ri­na Chen, Min­is­ter of State for Childcare
  • Jin­ny Sims, Min­is­ter of Cit­i­zens’ Services
  • Scott Fras­er, Min­is­ter of Indige­nous Rela­tions and Reconciliation
  • Bruce Ral­ston, Min­is­ter of Jobs, Trade and Technology
  • George Chow, Min­is­ter of State for Trade
  • Shane Simp­son, Min­is­ter of Social Devel­op­ment and Pover­ty Reduction
  • Lisa Beare, Min­is­ter of Tourism, Arts and Culture

We at NPI extend our con­grat­u­la­tions to Pre­mier Hor­gan, Deputy Pre­mier James, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Eby, and the rest of the new Exec­u­tive Coun­cil of British Colum­bia. We look for­ward to see­ing this gov­ern­ment take action to improve B.C.‘s qual­i­ty of life and work to end our con­ti­nen­t’s reliance on fos­sil fuels as a source of energy.

Pro­gres­sive change has come to British Colum­bia. A new gov­ern­ment is in place that has pledged to address the peo­ple’s pri­or­i­ties and gov­ern with integrity.

Best wish­es to them as they embark upon their new, vital roles.

Except for Alas­ka, Wash­ing­ton State is now the only Amer­i­can or Cana­di­an juris­dic­tion touch­ing the waters of the Pacif­ic Ocean that still has a Leg­is­la­ture with a right wing major­i­ty in any cham­ber. Vot­ers in the 45th Dis­trict have the pow­er to change that this autumn by send­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic stan­dard-bear­er Man­ka Dhin­gra to Olympia to replace Repub­li­can Dino Rossi in the Wash­ing­ton State Senate.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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